I like to fix things. You can’t fix people, but when I see a problem I want to help. I wanted to help my ex; she was in a tough spot and I was able to give her a stepping stone to solving a problem. We ended up going rather a lot further than that, but that’s how it often ends up. She had a problem, I wanted to help.
Help was what she needed. Help keeping away from her many triggers, as I discovered after I left. I didn’t see that as the issue while I was there; I just saw things that needed doing. She needed help going outside. She needed help getting her business on its feet. She needed help calming down after a stress at the shops. Help keeping the phone away from her: it made her nervous.
It’s not that her problems aren’t real. All abusers have mental health problems and they are very real things that they need help with. It’s not that my willingness to help was somehow misplaced. It’s that no amount of help was enough. We come to a place in our growth where we start managing certain things on our own; we stop needing so much help for certain things. That never happened.